Pioneering robot offers hope to people who require complex brain surgery
Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital has this month become the first NHS hospital in the UK to operate using the most advanced surgical robot of its kind. The ROSA robotic surgery assistant provides extremely accurate 3D maps of the brain; allowing neurosurgeons to locate and operate with pinpoint precision on previously unreachable parts of the brain. The Sheffield charity Neurocare which has worked to bring ROSA to the Royal Hallamshire, believes that this robotic surgical assistant “offers real hope for people with poorly controlled epilepsy, deep-seated brain tumours, Parkinson’s Disease and other complex brain disorders.” It outlines the benefits: “ROSA’s pinpoint precision is far less invasive and has the potential to reduce surgery times by as much as 40 per cent, greatly improving recovery and surgical outcomes. The robotic arm mimics the movement of the human arm and can use instruments as thin as a needle.” Sheffield consultant neurosurgeon Mr Dev Bhattacharyya told the BBC: "The first operation I undertook took two-and-a-half hours compared to six. Through its pinpoint precision we are now able to reach areas of the brain we would previously not have been able to, which is fantastic news for patients." One of the first patients to undergo surgery using the ROSA is Leanne Hall, 30, from Hull who developed severe epilepsy after surgery to remove a brain tumour. Leanne told the BBC: "I am not allowed to go out of the house on my own as it is too dangerous. All my life I have wanted to be normal; drive, get a job, get a house but I just have not been able to. I have never had the chance to say to someone 'I might be seizure-free this year' and I find it amazing that something might be able to do that." She said the new treatment had given her a "light at the end of the tunnel".